Row home under renovation collapses in DC, nobody injured

WASHINGTON (DC News Now) — Officials said that nobody was injured after a house collapsed in Northwest DC on Monday afternoon.

DC Fire and EMS said that a two-story row house in the 3900 block of Kansas Ave. NW “suffered significant collapse” in the back.

“What we found was a two-story end-of-the-row structure. It’s under renovation and it suffered a significant collapse of the entire rear of the building,” said Vito Maggiolo, public information officer for DC Fire and EMS.

Khanh Do, who lives in the row home connected to the one that collapsed, said she was shaken up after seeing what happened.

“I feel a little shocked. I’m still trying to digest the whole thing,” said Do.

Fire officials said that nobody had to be evacuated from the house, which was under renovation. No workers were at home when the collapse happened.

An inspector from the DC Department of Buildings (DOB) was investigating that house and the house next door.

DOB oversees inspections, code enforcement and permitting. It was formed in October after the District split the Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs. DCRA faced years of criticism for nuisance vacant properties and code enforcement issues.

During a February oversight hearing on DOB, many public speakers said the new agency was still plagued with the same issues.

“The city has done little to nothing to actually increase the number of licensed inspectors,” said Eric Jones, who was tested during that meeting.

The collapse happened just hours after Major Muriel Bowser appointed Brian Hanlon as the new acting director of the Department of Buildings. Hanlon is a registered architect with 35 years in public and private services. He formerly worked as the director of the Department of General Services from 2010 through 2015.

DC News Now reached out to DOB ​​for comment on the collapse but has not heard back.

This was the second such collapse in the District in the past month.

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